Research reveals UK Construction Industry focusing on Sustainability
New research was conducted by engineering consultancy, Patrick Parsons, with 100 senior executives of UK construction firms which have collectively been involved in over £26.6 billion worth of construction projects over the past year. The research highlighted the growing importance of using sustainable design and engineering in developments to lower carbon footprint and water use, reduce waste and minimise the materials used.
It shows that over three quarters (77%) think that sustainability planning in the early-stage design, engineering and construction is important in current and planned projects – of these, 19% described it as ‘extremely important’.
Furthermore, over half (53%) and 58% expect sustainable design to become more even more important over the next 12 months and three years respectively.
When asked about the importance of different areas of sustainable design, over half 51% said that energy-efficient systems and design utilising natural light, smart windows, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) was very important. This was followed by 47% who said that reducing water and sewerage waste was also a priority, and 35% said that sourcing materials with lower embodies carbon such as timber, clay and stone was very important.
Looking ahead, the focus on minimising the impact of developments in terms of carbon footprint, waste and resources used continues. 53% said that the importance of energy efficient design will increase significantly over the next three years, 32% said that waste reduction and lean design (26%,) which minimises the use of materials, will also increase significantly.
David Pickering, Director, Patrick Parsons, commented: “Our research highlights the growing focus on sustainable design and engineering as the UK construction industry seeks to play its part in tackling climate change by reducing carbon footprint and the use of natural resources and materials in developments.
“Our project experience reflects the industry’s aspiration to achieve integrated, holistic and sustainable design and that this requires a radical re-think of the design process. We are working with clients, consultants and contractors together to achieve this goal. From project mobilisation, our engineers test their designs against low carbon benchmarks, input to whole life carbon reporting and work with the overall team to ensure a cost effective and sustainable design.”
Patrick Parsons focusses on helping clients assess, design, and overcome the most complex of engineering challenges across a range of sectors. Operating from four sites – its HQ in Birmingham, London, Wakefield and Ashvale – the business provides a range of connected engineering services including Structural, Civil and Geo-Environmental consulting engineering services, competences the firm has developed over many years, and for which it has built a strong reputation.